Viscount Bryce


James Bryce, pictured at right, once addressed the iconoclastic topic of “Why Great Men Are Not Chosen Presidents” of the United States.  Those who claim the highest elective office in the land are generally, Bryce thought, men who are safe rather than brilliant.  He meant that they must be able to stand before the censorious public and answer for their actions. Ruthless and ingenious entrepreneurs who’ve taken no prisoners in business dealings, who’ve been superbly productive in their risk-taking, mercilessly short in response to ignorance, and  light-years ahead of the masses simply don’t possess that ability.  Can you imagine Steve Jobs as President, even for a single day? Someone, in fact, once asked Lee Iaococca if he would consider a bid for the White House and he responded with an emphatic “No!” and, then, a smile creased his face and he admitted, “I couldn’t put up with Sam Donaldson.” For those of you who don't remember him, Donaldson was one of the most odious know-it-alls in modern history who listed his occupation as that of "reporter."

Personal magnetism, which a President needs in order to attract voters, seems to demand mediocrity. How sad but true it is. Recently at the grocery store, I noticed a guy wearing a tee-shirt with the words, “I want to see a tattooed President.”  Can you envision a President removing his coat while visiting an area hard hit by a tornado, and sporting a brand spanking new tattoo on each arm? In the America in which we live, I can. There would be idiots in the media, I assure you, who would think the gesture progressive and would applaud it. Many rank and file voters would be wowed by it as well.  I’m talking about those voters who pay little or no taxes, and whose children can't construct a single coherent sentence and cry about not graduating from high school because they can't pass the standardized test. I’m referring to the growing portion of the electorate who are “information-challenged,” who readily believe that Judge Judy has been nominated to the Supreme Court and who have nothing against "Ben-Ghazi" “regardless of what he’s running for.” 

The state of politics and American public culture have declined considerably since Bryce described them matter-of-factly. It was once in James Buchanan’s best interest to keep his homosexuality hidden from public view, but I wouldn’t say so today. Now even church bishops can be overtly “funny people.”  Lyndon Johnson wouldn’t have wanted anyone to know that he often relieved himself on the toilet while conferring face to face with breathless subordinates. But there are those today who might praise Lyndon for not being “anally repressed.” George W. Bush’s hopelessly garbled grammatical  constructions are widely overlooked in these times, because they are “like, well, dude, everyday conversation.”   

If I’ve not yet convinced you that American politics and culture are profoundly troubled, even debauched, consider some of the chief executives we've been privileged to have during the last forty years; e.g., men like Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W., and Barack Obama. It’s hard not to redden when reciting their names. 

Nixon was a bloody liar and criminal. There aren't any two ways about it. His administration orchestrated countless burglaries and cover-ups, and even contemplated murdering people, but all in the name of “national security” of course. He was connected with the Mafia, although not a “made man” so far as I know.  Mickey Cohen was an early campaign contributor; Meyer Lansky was known to have picked up one of his monstrous gambling debts; and Bebe Rebozo, whose Florida bank routinely laundered money for criminal rackets, was his best friend. Thankfully, Mr. Nixon had no trouble relaxing even during challenging times like Watergate.  He threw down several Dilantin and chased them by a shot or two of Scotch whiskey.  It worked every time! 

While never actually elected President, Ford’s profile was comfortably presidential. He blatantly misled the American people about whether he would pardon his predecessor and, subsequently, during a nationally televised debate demonstrated his checkered grasp of foreign policy.  He wasn’t aware that Poland was behind the Iron Curtain. 

Carter, a peanut farmer from Plains, Georgia, possessed a keen sense of moral indignation, especially when the cameras were rolling.  He was outraged, for example, by the excesses of the Shah of Iran’s secret police, the Savak.  So the peanut man destabilized the Shah’s regime, only to usher in an Islamic theocracy. Have you noticed how much better things have been since, especially with Ahmadinejad? 

Clinton morally sullied the Oval Office in a way that paralleled Nixon’s stint on the job.  Hillary's husband once enjoyed a discussion of foreign policy by phone with a congressman, while a young woman beneath the presidential desk administered her nonpolitical favors. But, oh, no, he “did not have sex with that woman.” And, just to set the record straight, there was no "vast right-wing conspiracy" either.  He was and is simply another despicable liar. 

Bush the Younger ushered the nation into a war in Iraq based upon the unverified claim that the government there possessed weapons of mass destruction.  It proved not only untrue, but also demoralizing, and left the President and his administration scampering for a new war rationale in that theater.  Many American boys and girls, in the meantime, returned from the battlefield with missing limbs, only to receive poor care in substandard hospitals. But they were the lucky ones -- others returned in body bags!  

Obama is neck deep in scandals involving the media, the IRS, and Benghazi.  He too is a wretched liar and crook, but is still trying to make the American people believe he had nothing to do with any of it!  Fortunately, citizens with an IQ north of 75 remain a wee bit incredulous.  They're the ones, I guess, who don’t desire to see their President tattooed. 

This country is yearning for a real president, for a person who's honorable and who'll accept responsibility for his actions, a person of strength, wisdom, integrity, and courage like George  Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  If that’s too much to ask, and I think it may be, I personally would settle for an individual who is neither a fraud nor an embarrassment. But, given the mentality of many voters, that still may still be too rich a wish. 

Hey, I’ve got it!  Why not run Willie Robertson for President?  He's pictured at left with his strikingly beautiful wife, Korie. He would probably have to give up his position as CEO of Duck Commander, but, heck, he is tattooed!  Plus, he’s  honest, has a rock-solid family, and possesses a "common touch" like few others.  Yep, Willie may very well be the nation’s best hope and its lowest common denominator by which to unite a country that's unraveling. Three cheers for Willie! 

June 2, 2013